Liquid thermoelectrics: Review of recent and limited new data of Thermogalvanic cell experiments

Andrey Gunawan, Chao Han Lin, Daniel Buttry, Vladimiro Mujica, Robert A. Taylor, Ravi S. Prasher, Patrick Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Experimental studies on thermogalvanic cells (or thermo-electrochemical cells or simply thermocells) have shown promising results in the past two decades since being introduced in 1825. Recent literature on this topic ranging from aqueous redox couple cells to nonaqueous and molten salt thermogalvanic cells is reviewed and compared. Some limited new experimental data on power generation for the underdeveloped Cu-CuSO4 system are also reported. The Seebeck coefficient values of these experiments fit with a characteristic model extracted from a 1959 paper by deBethune et al. (Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 106, 1959). The power generation results are compared with the few previously reported values of the Cu-CuSO4 system by Holeschovsky (Analysis of Flooded Flow Fuel Cells and Thermogalvanic Generators, 1994) and Tester et al. (Evaluation of Thermogalvanic Cells for the Conversion of Heat to Electricity, 1992), including those published by Kuzminskii et al. (Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 52, 1994) and Quickenden and Mua (Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 142, 1995). Condensing the recently published literature, this article presents recent trends and identifies future possibilities or directions for realizing this attractive concept, which has been around for a long time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-323
Number of pages20
JournalNanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • liquid thermoelectric
  • nonisothermal cell
  • thermo-electrochemical cell
  • thermocell
  • thermogalvanic cell
  • thermogalvanic generator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials


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